Great Moments in Strat – April 2013

Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send your Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.
            I had a wild and crazy finish to my 1927 World Series replay. I did this replay on the PC, and it was very reminiscent of the 1960 Series.
Game 1: Yankees 5, Pirates 1
Game 2: Pirates 7, Yankees 5
Game 3: Yankees 15, Pirates 2
Game 4: Pirates 3, Yankees 2 (Pittsburgh scored twice in the top of the 9th)
Game 5: Yankees 8, Pirates 4
Game 6: Pirates 4, Yankees 1
            Without a doubt, the most exciting game I’ve played/watched in my brief history of playing Strat on the computer.
1st inning: Combs and Koenig lead off with singles. Ruth comes up, lines one to Grantham at second base, who catches it, throws to second to double off Combs and then to first to nail Koenig. A TRIPLE PLAY! In the bottom half, Lloyd Waner leads off with a single, gets bunted over to second, takes third on a flyout. Then Paul Waner (I forget which one was Big Poison and which one was Little Poison), Pie Traynor and George Grantham single and Joe Harris doubles. 4-0 Pirates
2nd: Gehrig walks, Meusel doubles, Gehrig thrown out at home on Lazzeri’s grounder. Dugan grounds out and Meusel scores. 4-1 Pirates
4th: Gehrig walks again, Meusel triples, Lazzeri singles. Dugan gets hit, Collins hits into a double play, Pennock singles, Combs flies out. 4-3 Pirates
7th: With 2 out, Gehrig walks AGAIN (!) and Meusel homers to give the Yankees the lead! Also, all he needs is a single for the cycle! In the bottom, Joe Harris walks, Clyde Barnhart gets sent up to pinch hit for Aldridge and gets hit. Lloyd Waner singles and Harris gets sent home, but Pat Collins blocks the plate to keep the score 5-4. 5-4 Yankees
8th: With 1 out, Collins doubles, Pennock singles, Combs singles to bring in Collins. After Koenig pops out, Ruth singles home Pennock. 7-4 Yankees. The errors catch up to the Yankees again in the bottom. After Paul Waner singled, Pie Traynor reached safely on a Collins error. Grantham then singles to right, but Ruth throws the ball away at home, allowing 2 runs to score and Grantham scoots to third. Bartell flies out which allows Grantham to score the tying run. Pennock got the rest of them out. Game tied at 7.
9th: The Pirates get a couple of runners on but Traynor pops out and Grantham grounds out.
11th: 2 out, Gehrig doubles, Meusel is walked, Lazzeri grounds out.
12th: Dugan flies out, Grabowski singles and Morehart is sent in to pinch run. Pitcher Thomas strikes out. Combs hits a grounder to short which Wright misplays. Koenig singles to score Morehart, Combs takes third, Koenig takes second on the throw. Ruth walks. Johnny Morrison comes in to pitch for the Pirates. Gehrig draws yet another walk to make it 9-7. Meusel belts a double to the gap to clear the bases and give the Yankees a 12-7 lead. Lazzeri strikes out to end their half. 12-7 Yankees
            Pie Traynor leads off with a walk, George Grantham homers to make it 12-9. Smith flies out and Cronin strikes out – TWO OUT! Barnhart singles, Lloyd Waner walks. Glenn Wright then hits a grounder to first and Gehrig fumbles it to keep the inning alive! Fred Brickell comes in to pinch hit. Hits a drive to right-center so I know it’s at least a double. But the ball keeps going and going and it’s GONE! A GRAND SLAM TO WIN THE GAME 13-12, AND TO WIN THE SERIES OVER THE ‘27 YANKEES!!!
            13-12 Pirates!
            I actually had to get up and walk around after the grand slam. I was stunned. My kids were still sleeping at the time so I didn’t want to wake them up. It’s wonderful that something like this game could create so much drama! Thank you for a lot of fun.
Peter Miller, Ottawa, Canada
            With the 1930s-era Cardinals being my favorite team, I was anxious to begin their 1938 season replay. On their July 28 game at the Polo Grounds, Joe Medwick duck-walked to the plate and promptly blasted Giants’ ace Carl Hubbell for three home runs and a double, for seven RBIs – all before the sixth inning was complete.
Doug Feldmann, Villa Hills, KY

            I decided to rekindle a project I previously did as a single-elimination tournament, this time making it a best of 7 tournament. I call it my Nostalgia Tournament. In 1969 I received my first Strat Game – an 8 team selector set (1968 teams). I skipped buying anything in 1970 due to variety of circumstances but then returned in 1971 to buy 24 1970 teams and the then 28 team old timer set. So I will have a 32 team tournament (basic of course). I take 27 of the 28 old timer teams (no 1962 Mets, add the 2 1968 pennant winners, add the 2 1970 pennant winners, and the 1970 Twins as a wild card. There are 17 NL teams and 15 AL teams so I move the 1953 Dodgers to the AL “side” and then seed the 32 teams into 8 four team brackets. My first series pits the 1960 Pirates (a 2 seed) vs. the 1953 Dodgers (a 3 seed).
             The Dodgers take a commanding 3-0 lead. The Pirates avoid elimination with a convincing 10-2 Game 4 win. Game 5 matches aces Carl Erskine and Vernon Law. In a superb pitching duel, the Pirates get just 2 hits but prevail 1-0 because both hits were in the same inning and led to the game’s only run. The Dodgers had a 2-1 8th inning Game 6 lead when Don Hoak ripped a 3 run home run off Clem Labine to stave off elimination. It also set up Game 7 and what a memorable game that turned out to be. 
            The Dodgers send out Billy Loes to face the Pirates Vinegar Bend Mizell. Brooklyn strikes first when Campanella leads off the second with a home run. The Dodgers add 2 walks and a hit but score no more. In the top of the third, Pee Wee Reese walks but is caught stealing. Duke Snider then walks and Campanella connects again for a 3-0 Brooklyn lead. In the bottom of the third, after retiring the first 8, Mizell rolls a fielding chance off Loes card for Gil Hodges, but the “1” rated fielder bobbles it for an error. Dick Groat follows with a single then Bill VIrdon rolls a HR chance off Loes card and the error comes back and bites the Dodgers as the score is tied 3-3.
            In the Dodger 5th, Hodges redeems himself with a 2 out 2 run HR to give The Boys of Summer a 5-3 lead. After an error and walk, Billy Cox also connects for a 3 run HR and suddenly it is 8-3 Brooklyn. Bill Mazeroski homers in the bottom of the 5th to make it 8-4. There have been 6 homers in the first 5 innings. The Dodgers load the bases with 1 out in the 6th but Hodges grounds into an inning ending double play. Don Hoak rolls a fielding chance for Billy Cox to lead off the Pirates 6th and the normally sure handed “1” rated fielder makes an error. Dick Stuart then rolls the rare 2-12 for a 2 run HR and the Dodger lead is narrowed to 8-6. After this, I had an inkling something special might happen, little did I know. Bob Skinner and Smokey Burgess follow with walks. Bill Mazeroski singles home Skinner and then pinch hitter Rocky Nelson walks. The Pirates have come back from an 8-3 deficit to make it 8-7 and have the bases loaded and no outs. Dick Groat hits a sac fly for an RBI, Bill Virdon get an RBI single to tie the game, then Roberto Clemente lifts a sac fly to give the Pirates a 9-8 lead. Wow.
            The Dodgers do not score in the 7th but Stuart rolls a 1-11 for another home run in the bottom of the 7th and Pittsburgh leads it 10-8. In the top of the 8th, all 3 Dodger batters strike out. In the bottom of the 8th, Clemente doubles with 2 outs and Don Hoak drills a HR and Pittsburgh now leads it 12-8. There have now been 9 home runs in the game. Brooklyn comes to bat in the 9th trailing 12-8 after leading 8-3. Pirate relief ace Roy Face enters the game. Campanella greets him with his third HR of the game, making it 12-9. Gil Hodges and Carl Furillo single, then Jim Gilliam walks. Brooklyn now trails it 12-9 but has the bases loaded and 0 out. I decide to pinch hit Wayne Belardi for Billy Cox. Belardi has high potential to either homer or strike out (avoiding a double play). Belardi hits a sac fly, it is now 12-10. Pinch-hitter George Shuba walks reloading the bases. Jackie Robinson singles in one run making it 12-11. Pee Wee Reese singles in a run tieing the game at 12-12. Then Duke Snider hits a sac fly and Brooklyn leads it 13-12. (Campanella flies out to end the inning). Unbelievable 5 run rally.
            Bob Skinner grounds out to start the Pirate 9th. Smokey Burgess then rolls a 2-8 for a HR 1-7 chance and GETS the HR, knotting the game at 13. We now have 11 home runs in the game. In the Dodger 10th a leadoff single is wasted. The Pirate 10th sees Dick Groat fly out to lead off the inning, but Virdon and Clemente follow with singles. Don Hoak grounds out for the second out but Hal Smith, pinch hitting for Face who was inserted into the lineup here, strokes a single, winning the wild game for the Pirates and eliminating the Dodgers. The 1953 Dodgers had made the final game of the previous 32-team, single-elimination tournament.
1953 Dodgers 012 050 005 0 – 13 14 2
1960 Pirates    003 015 121 1 – 14 15 1
Loes, Hughes (5), Milliken (6), Labine (7), Podres (9) and Campanella
Mizell, Green (6), Gibbon (7), Face (9) and Burgess
WP Face … LP Podres
HR Campanella (3), Virdon, Hodges, Cox, Mazeroski, Stuart (2), Hoak, Burgess
            Some notable accomplishments:
1) Pirates come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win series.
2) Pirates won game 5 with only 2 hits, 1-0.
3) 13 runs tied my all-time record for most runs by a losing team. The 1971 A’s once lost to the 1974 Dodgers also 14-13, scoring 7 runs in the B9 and just missing a game winning 3 run HR on the last batter of the game
4) 11 combined home runs is close to my all-time record (I know in one game the 1972 A’s hit 9 home runs by themselves)
5) Campanella’s 3 home runs tied for my second best HR performance ever. The best ever was 1970 Boog Powell who hit for the home run cycle (grand slam, 3 run HR, 2 run HR and solo shot). Others with 3 home runs from memory 1975 Johnny Bench, 1975 Bobby Bonds, (I played a huge 1975 season way back when), 1927 Lou Gehrig and I think 1977 George Foster. Maybe 1-3 others.
6) The Pirates overcame a 5 run deficit and then the Dodgers overcame a 9th inning 4 run deficit
7) Quite possibly my wildest, most exciting, event-filled game in 45 years of SOM baseball
 Cary A. Cardinale, Still Rolling in Dublin, CA

            Here are a few of my great moments in Strat:
            1. I would say my greatest moments playing SOM was when we did the National Conventions in Illinois from 1974-1980 – to provide an environment where gamers (we offered tournaments for baseball and football, both elementary and advanced) could come to not only play in the tournaments but the chance to meet each other year after year, like meeting members of your family – even though it took a good amount of time to organize everything (I worked with a few friends around Chicago), I think the greatest moments that a Strat Gamer has is when he is with other gamers – sharing our knowledge of the various sports games and experience. I still hear from people periodically who attended these early conventions who share their gratitude.
            2. I think it was either 1980 or 1981, we started an SOM Club in the Chicago area, to try to provide a way for gamers to connect with each other. But the most interesting moment was when I found out how to contact retired Cubs and white Sox Players. Working with Kaybee Toys at a mall in Schaumburg, IL (which sells SOM games, especially the baseball game), we had a booth to promote the club and two ex-Cub players and two ex-White Sox players sat with us. We found SOM teams they were on and they played each other. Coming upon 58 years old next month I can only remember Rich Nye, but the ex-players with us enjoyed the game.
            3. I have been a member of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) a computer-run baseball league since 2005, in the 7 years I have been a member I have made the playoffs six times and the World Series three times. This past season, I finally won it all. My life partner Katrina can tell you how crazy I was as we went 12-2 in the playoffs against very good teams. 
            I had a procedure I followed for every time I played – I wore my Cubs hat. I showered before I played to be positive with those negative ions. I played music from Dr. Who before I started and during play. And I wore the same shirt for all 14 games. Normally, I am a kind of quiet person but I was so focused on winning the World Series (as predicted early in the season by Katrina, who is a bit psychic) that my muscles would hurt from this intensity. When we won the games I would yell, dance in the room and sing. 
            The key to the Skokie Wolfmen’s success was trades we made during the season to create a balanced team that had it all – good starting pitching (with low HRs on their cards), good relief pitching, enough players who could steal, five 30+ HR hitters in real life, very good defense (all 1’s and 2’s with low e-ratings) and decent on-base. Yadier Molina was our MVP with 16 RBIs in 14 games and a few HRs. 
Joshua Shapiro aka Wolfman Shapiro, Kent, WA
editor of the “Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter”